Sunday, August 9, 2015



(Performing Arts)

To begin the inquiry, we brainstormed questions and possible directions with staff and children, these are some of the things we wanted to find out and explore further with the children. 

So we asked them: 

*Have you seen a show?
*What are costumes and dress-ups for? 
*Can you change yourself if you wear a costume?
*What is an audience?
*Do shows have lights?
*What happens behind a curtain?
*Do things have to be real on stage?
*Can everyone be in a show? Have talent? 

From here we had our 'intended plan' an initial direction to take...

So we started creating a performance space, where we can explore all of these things. 

What do we need for a stage? 

children said: lights, curtain, ropes to hold the curtain, people and chairs, add some pictures (of different performances held there) tickets, costumes at the back, and make it really, really, big so lots of people can fit! It has to be dark. 

So this is what we came up with initially working with the children. However, as  more and more children have input and as our ideas develop we will continue to add to, change and develop the stage.

Let the performances begin! 

*Story Tables - To tell a story with props, become familiar with it, then develop it into a stage performance. (We did 'Owl Babies' with hand puppets and big book, and then acted it out with costumes on a stage). 

*Traditional Fairy Tales - As children were really familiar with these stories and it made it easier for them to think about costumes, backdrops and characters, without relying on a picture in a book to show them. 

*Music/Dancing/Singing - From children's outside interests or home experiences. Ballet, beat boxing, hip-hop, tap, anything from a familiar song at preschool to a made up show of different children singing/dancing. 

*Shows from our preschool experiences: Because everyone already knows these and can be a part of it at different times throughout the day. Everyone can have a part, small or large, on stage or behind the scenes. We  created a show from 'She'll be coming round the mountain'. Anyone can come around the mountain and do whatever they like, this invites all to be involved in their own way. 

Or any other type of show the children are interested in. The possibilities are endless. This is only the beginning! 

For continuity and exploring the inquiry in different ways, we also created outdoor performance spaces. 

We used our Bali Hut to create a stage with curtains, (as a starting point) as this is what the children seemed to relate to the most in our discussions. We also use our puppet theatre and other curtains to create different spaces for the children to explore and revisit. 

"But wait...We need tickets!" 
So then came the ticket booth

So we looked at some different types of tickets and created some for our shows. We also made numerals for the floor so the ticket could be matched with the right spot to sit.
We had to get the tickets from the ticket booth. 

They even hole-punched the ticket for us once it had been used, like one of the children recalled from a show they'd been to.
They  had an usher, with a torch to show people where to sit, and someone used a camera for video recording the performance.

We're creating lots of roles for on stage performers and also behind the scenes. As our knowledge and experience with shows progresses and our ideas change, we'll continue to grow and create as we work with and alongside the children to share our shows. 

This is just a start for us and as the term progresses we will continue to add to our shows and become more creative. As we incorporate a range of ideas over time and work with different groups of children, this is just a glimpse of what we do, and how we do it, not the full story! Please stay tuned for more of our show experiences, discussions and ideas around the performing arts. 

A Star Is Born!

As we continue exploring a Theatre or stage space two boys were drawing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stage so I asked "Should we create a stage out of clay."?
 We printed out an Image of a Theatre space.

 We created Seats.
 We faced the seats towards the roll of tape which we pretended was the screen.

 We worked on the screen.
 Some children came along and said the chairs needed feet so the production line continued.
 A Minion (Despicable Me) was created to put on the screen.

 Creating the legs for the chairs.

 Adding the curtains.
 Creating other characters for the screen.

 Painting the chairs red.
 Adding the curtains.
 We asked the children what should we use for the lights.
 "Make it out of clay"
" We could use coloured pompoms"
I know let's use Christmas lights.
 We used the last idea as we could turn off the lights when the show starts.

 The theater is still being developed.

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